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Life Sciences Discovery Fund to support drug discovery, foster new R&D initiative
Date:10/25/2010

SEATTLE, Washington, October 25, 2010 The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) today announced a $5 million grant to Seattle-based Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) to discover, develop, and commercialize new drugs to treat a variety of major diseases. With successful generation of proceeds through partnering and the sales of drugs in the marketplace, an additional outcome of the grant would be establishment of a new non-profit initiative to advance the life sciences sector and improve health and economic growth in Washington state.

The Omeros team, led by Gregory Demopulos, M.D., will apply a proprietary screening technology to identify compounds that interact with orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are a family of proteins that are involved in many biological processes, with 30 to 40% of current drugs having their effect by binding to these targets. Of the 363 total non-sensory GPCRs, approximately 240 have known ligands (molecules that bind the receptors), with nearly half of those targeted either by marketed drugs or by drugs in development. Without a known ligand, drug development for a given receptor is extremely difficult. There are approximately 120 GPCRs with no known ligands, which are termed "orphan GPCRs." Omeros' GPCR platform technology could result in new therapeutics to treat conditions as diverse as cancer, obesity, and neurological disorders.

This award is the second made through LSDF's Opportunity grant mechanism. Opportunity grants support extraordinary initiatives outside of LSDF's annual competition cycles that have the potential to advance research or research infrastructure within Washington's life sciences sector. Funded "opportunities" also demonstrate strong potential for both health and economic impact and significantly leverage LSDF funding.

In the event that the Omeros GPCR program achieves commercial success, a portion of the resulting proceeds payable under the grant award agreement wil
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Contact: Cathyryne Manner
manner@lsdfa.org
206-732-6755
Life Sciences Discovery Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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